Photo Credit: N. Hill/getty images
Quick! When you think about fruit, what comes to mind? A banana? An orange? A crisp red apple? Now think about veggies. Do you picture a golden ear of corn? A shiny radish? A purple eggplant? If you were a school-aged kid, you might think of syrup-packed peach cubes or floppy, wet green beans, because canned produce still frequently dominates the produce offerings in school cafeterias. And parents have had enough. According to a poll just released by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, more than 85 percent of parents surveyed said fresh fruit and vegetables, not canned, should be served in schools on a daily basis. (Here’s the full report by the W.K. Kellog Foundation)
The 801 parents polled also named pizza, hamburgers, French fries/tater tots, hot dogs/corn dogs, and chicken nuggets as those foods that come most readily to mind when asked about school food. And with good reason: these five foods, often of dubious nutritional quality, still very much dominate the offerings.
Increasingly dissatisfied with what’s on offer, parents are speaking out, and the demand for change includes a broader chorus of voices than ever before.
I’m currently in